NOT many people who follow the National League South would have predicted to see Taunton Town at the pointy end of the table this season, writes Lewis Wiseman.

Whilst it is still early days in the 2023/24 campaign, Taunton currently sit in second place on the table, behind leaders, and rivals, Yeovil Town, on just goal difference.

As Taunton had no fixture last weekend to report on, we have taken a look at their campaign so far, and assessed whether it is realistic to think the Peacocks can stay towards the top for the remainder of the season.

First off, I will say, yes. Yes, Taunton Town can stay at the top end of the table, perhaps push for a playoff place. 

This team have proven they can compete with any side in this league, and the fact they are at the top end currently, is no fluke.

I think the key point in their success is squad cohesion. 

Most teams across the National League South refresh their playing group every season. In large parts, teams have whole sets of new players each year trying to gel together.

What Taunton have done differently, is keep a large group of the squad together for over three seasons, and add key players around the squad to boost the depth and quality.

It provides a more cohesive unit, who are able to follow a set tactical plan that as we have seen this season is able to get results at this level.

Captain Nick Grimes, Jay Foulston, Lloyd Irish, Ollie Chamberlain, Lee Lucas, Zac Smith, Ross Stearn, Joe Guest and Lloyd James have all played at the club since the Southern League days.

All of these players still start for the Peacocks as well. They are important players, who all know each other well and more importantly, know the tactic well.

Dan Ball, Dylan Morgan, Nick McCootie, Nat Jarvis, Cameron Evans and Dave Sims-Burgess have been at the club since the start of last season's campaign. Adding to the experience within the group further.

And new additions this season - Austen Booth, Callum Dolman, Malachi Linton and Elliott Dugan - all have brought a new spark and competition for places.

I truly think the cohesion within the squad is Taunton's super power this season, and the players who have spent longer in the side share the motivations and styles this team play towards. 

Hard work, determination, grittiness and of course playing for the guy next to you, are all the key points for this squad.

And when you add in the level of stubbornness that this team has, it is a lethal combination for success, I think. This team, despite not being favoured by many to do well, are determined to prove everyone wrong. 

And now that they are in this elevated position, it wouldn't be a surprise to see them stay towards the top for the rest of the campaign. Would it?